The Suzuki Talent Education Partnership (STEP) is an interfaith music ministry at South Congregational Church that follows the family-centered principles and teachings of renowned Japanese music educator Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, while serving urban and suburban students in Greater Springfield and Northern CT. Although we are hosted by South Church, we are an interfaith organization, welcoming all who come in peace and love music!
The STEP has been serving Greater Springfield and northern Connecticut with family-centered music education since 2002. It is STEP’s vision that students of diverse ages, backgrounds and cultures will thrive by experiencing the joy of making music together using Dr. Suzuki’s step-by-step approach – where teachers and parents work together to help the student learn. This vision inspires our mission to combine high-quality music instruction, accessible to all, with community outreach, through STEP’s free family-friendly concerts and its financial aid and instrument loans to low-income families.
Over the years STEP has received generous support from its parent/teacher organization, the Springfield Suzuki Partnership (SSP), community supporters, and the following churches: Christ Church Cathedral, Faith United and South Congregational Churches in Springfield, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Longmeadow, and the Congregational Church of Somersville (CT). A small organization of between 12 and 20 families in any given year, STEP has a big heart: with the help of these individuals and houses of worship, STEP has established the STEP Scholarship Fund and Instrument Library which has given out over $34,500 in aid and loaned out instruments to 27 deserving young people from diverse backgrounds since 2002. STEP is committed to increasing the representation of people of color in our country’s professional musical ensembles – symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles and other performing groups using bowed stringed instruments.